Hits

I review my weekly hit levels for my two most popular sites.

I use W3Counter (thanks to a recommendation by someone who commented here) to keep track of site activity. I don’t use their pay service — the features it adds are not worth the money to me — but I do use their standard service to keep track page visits (which appears in a tiny graphic on each page) and page hits.

Stats for two of my sites.W3Counter, among other things, creates customizable charts for site activity. What you see here are the charts for my two busiest sites: wickenburg-az.com and aneclecticmind.com. I set up these charts to display results for each week for the year. Since I installed W3Counter in late June, that’s the first week that displays. Those nasty dips in July and September are for periods when my server was down for a few days (one of the reasons I moved the sites from my own server to GoDaddy.com). And this week isn’t looking too good because it’s only half over. And in case you’re wondering, W3Counter does not track my visits to the sites — I’ve installed a cookie on all my browsers so it ignores me. (Don’t want to get an inflated count.)

I wrote about the importance of statistics in “Site Stats and Why They’re Important,” which is also available as a podcast. I’d been looking at stats on a daily basis, primarily because that’s the default view W3Counter offers. Seeing the stats on a weekly basis is much more interesting. I can clearly see the trends. For example, in the top illustration, which is for wickenburg-az.com, hits go down in the summer. Why? Because it’s so darn hot here, fewer people are interested Wickenburg. Not only the people who might visit — at least 90% of the site’s visitors are from out of the area — but the people who live here part of the year and have abandoned the town for cooler climates.So you can see that flat line or dip (depending on which line you’re looking at) that ramps up in the fall. It’ll be interesting to look at this chart when I have a whole year’s worth of data. My personal site’s activity (in the bottom illustration) has been growing quite steadily, but has peaks and troughs from week to week. For a long time, its weekly hits exceeded those for wickenburg-az.com, but now that the high season is upon us in the Sonoran desert, people are more interested in the town than me. I can live with that.

What’s interesting to me — and what prompted me to write this piece — is that both sites have approximately the same level of activity, hovering around 2500 page hits per week this time of year. I find that interesting primarily because of the differences in content and appeal. wickenburg-az.com is a local Web site with information and commentary about Wickenburg, AZ. aneclecticmind.com is a combination blog and support site that offers everything from general commentary to highly technical how-to instructions for using certain software. Yet they’re equally popular. Don’t you find that odd?

In any case, I’ll be playing around a bit more with W3Counter to see what other oddities I can find.

And if you’re a Webmaster or blogger and are looking for a nice statistics solution that’s easy to set up and use, I recommend W3Counter. Many thanks to Dan from that company for suggesting it.

5 thoughts on “Hits

  1. Huh. Technorati must be on crack. Check this out:

    [quote]Who’s Blogging AboutBlogs about horses in order of recency.

    Maria Langer, the Official Web Site*

    by marialanger 3 hours ago[/quote]

    I see flying. Arizona. I see discussions of web hits (which discussion is very interesting to me… I like statistics!). But nary a horse anywhere. [Glares at Technorati] Ah well. Anyway, hi!

  2. W3Counter looked very interesting to me. I’ve been using statcounter for some time now and I love it, but I admit I’m tempted by W3Counter’s attractive interface. Unfortunately, they’re still granting free membership by invitation, only. I don’t suppose you’d be willing to extend me one (assuming it works somewhat like gmail)?

  3. WirelessMike, I don’t appear to have the ability to invite anyone. I don’t know who does. I guess you’ll just have to keep checking in there. They say “early 2007” (which is now) so you shouldn’t have to wait long. Sorry I couldn’t help.

  4. This was posted on 4/26/07 on the W3Counter forum:

    “W3Counter will be moved to new hardware this Friday, April 27th. There may be periods during which the service is inaccessible, but statistics should be recorded at all times. The service will be moving to a quad-core dual Opteron 2212 server with 4GB of RAM which should improve response times and allow free account signups to open again.”

    Hopefully it will be open to free accounts soon! I’d love to try it out. :)

What do you think?